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What's old is new again for the Guelph Royals

New manager and new key players join rejuvenated baseball club for its 100th season
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New Guelph Royals manager Dave TeBoekhorst, from left, is joined by new players Josh Garton, Justin Interisano and Sean Reilly Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, at Shoeless Joe's. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

The Guelph Royals are turning back the clock to ensure a better future.

The Intercounty Baseball League club, which folded midway through it's 99th season last summer, returns next year with a new owner and now new manager and new heart of the lineup.

Saturday the club announced at Shoeless Joe's restaurant that Dave TeBoekhorst will be the team's new manager and that sluggers Sean Reilly, Justin Interisano and Josh Garton will be returning to the Royals as players.

TeBoekhorst managed the Kitchener Panthers the past few seasons, where Reilly and Interisano played. Garton, a former Cincinatti Reds draft pick, hasn't played the past couple of years.

TeBoekhorst took the Panthers to the league final two of the past three years, losing both times to the Barrie Baycats, who have won the past four IBL crowns.

Guelph last won the championship in 2004.

Steve Scagnetti, the team's manager the past couple of seasons, remains as general manager.

"It's kind of been my dream Intercounty job. I just want to build the program back to where it once was," said TeBoekhorst.

"It's my hometown. I grew up here. I played here. I've always wanted to come back and coach here," said TeBoekhorst, who was a catcher for the Royals for 10 years before turning to coaching and managing.

"I'd always thought it would be coaching my kids, but when this opportunity presented itself, it's something I thought about long and hard. It's the perfect fit."

He said the Kitchener Panthers were extremely classy and accommodating about the moves.

Scagnetti also had praise for the Panthers organization, saying they understand, and the league understands, that a competitive and healthy franchise in Guelph is essential for the league.

Reilly, a Burlington native who lives in Guelph, is arguably the greatest slugger in the history of the IBL and its all-time home run leader. Interisano and Garton, both Guelph natives, are both former all-stars.

"There was some question as to the continuance of the Royals. This being the 100th season, we felt it was important we kept going," Scagnetti said.

The Royals folded midway through last season and owner Jim Rooney eventually sold the franchise to Kitchener-area businessman Shawn Fuller.

"It's been less than 90 days since I bought the baseball team and there's been a number of people working hard behind the scenes to improve this ball club and get back to our winning ways," Fuller said.

Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie was initially involved in the ownership of the team but recently stepped down due to a potential conflict of interest with his duties as mayor.